Monday, October 18, 2010

WWE Raw Report

Date: 10/18/10 from Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

The Big News: There’s a big pay-per-view coming up this weekend. Also, Bragging Rights.

Show Analysis:

Teddy Long came out to start the show and was booed. A reference to Smackdown also got booed. The anonymous GM sent in a message and was booed. The GM told Long to leave. Long ignored the anonymous GM and had the Bragging Rights trophy brought out. He pointed out Smackdown won last year. The anonymous GM told Long to get out of the ring or else, which proved to be quite the idle threat. Long took away the laptop and that was it for the anonymous GM on this show.

The Smackdown team came out one-by-one to the ring. Then Miz brought out the Raw team one-by-one. Ezekiel Jackson is the final member of the team, said to be picked by Miz. Raw and Smackdown got into a big brawl. The crowd was shockingly dead for this brawl. No one cares about Raw vs. Smackdown of course, but the big brawl with two clearly defined sides almost always gets a big pop. The crowd started chanting “We want Bret” in the middle of this.

Smackdown fought off Raw and Big Show challenged Miz to a singles match. Miz accepted. This was a really weak opening. The GM fighting was irritating, the prolonged team introductions were boring, and the brawl didn’t get over at all.

Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre beat Hart Dynasty. Hart Dynasty did the obligatory hometown job. The crowd chanted for Bret Hart some more. The heels worked over Tyson Kidd. David Hart Smith came in with a clothesline, leg drop and powerslam. They set up for the springboard Hart Attack but Smith dropped McIntyre into the sharpshooter instead. Smith and Kidd then got into an argument and McIntyre hit the future shock on Smith for the pin.

This time after the match they teased that Kidd is the one going heel. If they simply decided they are better off with Kidd as the heel and Smith as the face, that’s fine. But I sure hope the new idea isn’t to tease back and forth which wrestler is going heel so it’s a surprise in the end. That defeats the whole purpose of setting up a turn, which is to get fans gradually behind the new face or gradually against the new heel.

Backstage, Randy Orton and John Cena met. Orton told Cena that if Cena gets in Orton’s way, Orton has no trouble punting him. Cena said that if Orton tries, Cena will break off the leg.

Goldust beat Zack Ryder. This was one of those matches where they just get it out of the way as quick as possible to get to the next angle. Goldust won pretty much immediately with the final cut. Ted DiBiase attacked Goldust after the match. Aksana had the Million Dollar Title and Maryse chased after her. Goldust gave DiBiase the final cut.

Backstage, Wade Barrett told Cena he wanted him to test Michael McGillicutty and Husky Harris. He ordered Cena to give them everything he has. Cena thought there was some catch. Barrett then told Cena to go get him a glass of water. Cena brought him the water and Barrett threw it back in Cena’s face. The Nexus guys all laughed at Cena.

John Cena and Randy Orton beat Husky Harris and Michael McGillicutty. Cena went to town on McGillicutty early but the heels took over on Cena. Cena eventually got the tag and Orton came in with clotheslines, a powerslam and draping DDT on McGillicutty. Cena gave Harris the FU and Orton hit the RKO on McGillicutty for the pin. This was a good match but I don’t get the booking at all. If Harris and McGillicutty are joining Nexus, it’s pretty stupid to weaken them in advance. I mean, I guess that’s standard WWE protocol these days, but it’s not an effective booking formula.

After the match Cena was going to shake hands with Orton but Barrett told Cena not to shake hands and leave the ring. Nexus then surrounded and beat up Orton while Cena watched. Eventually Barrett told Cena to give Orton the FU but then with Orton on Cena’s shoulders Barrett said he didn’t want Cena to have the spotlight and had Cena put Orton back down.

Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero came out. Daniel Bryan interrupted. His gimmick continues to be that he’s a nerd. He said that he’s not a ladies man but even he could do better than Vickie. He continued with “If I could be serious for a minute,” which got a cheer from the crowd. Bryan said he can tap out Ziggler and proposed a match at Bragging Rights. Ziggler accepted. Ziggler then slapped Bryan and hid behind Vickie. Bryan chased after Ziggler and put him in the LeBell lock. A bunch of the women then came out to throw glitter on Vickie for no apparent reason. This led to Bryan dancing with the women so he could do a bunch of geek dance moves.

They continue to do a bunch of segments about WWE charity work in advance of Vince’s trial. Excuse me, Linda’s election. They also debuted a new “Stand Up for WWE” campaign trying to rally WWE fans against media bullies or something.

Natalya beat Alicia Fox in another of those nothing matches with the sharpshooter. Lay Cool came out afterwards and ran down Calgary and the Harts. Michelle put Natalya in the sharpshooter and Layla went to take a picture but Natalya countered and Lay Cool escaped.

Big Show came out for his match with the Miz accompanied by much of the Smackdown roster. Then much of the Raw roster came out with Miz. Teddy Long then changed their singles match to a battle royal for some reason.

Edge and Big Show won the battle royal for Smackdown. Hornswoggle attacked Michael Cole and took a headset. He then made random irritating noises throughout the match. He made this segment so much worse all on his own. Edge accidentally eliminated Jack Swagger and an angry Swagger pulled Edge under the ropes and applied the ankle lock.

The final eight were Ezekiel Jackson, Daniel Bryan, Rey Mysterio, Drew McIntyre, Cody Rhodes, Miz, Big Show and Sheamus. Ezekiel dumped Rey and then he eliminated McIntyre and Rhodes together. Show squared off against Bryan, Sheamus and Jackson together. Show threw out Bryan. Sheamus threw Jackson in for a corner avalanche on Show and I was having flashbacks to Akeem, Ted DiBiase and Big John Studd in the first PPV Royal Rumble.

Jackson then threw Sheamus into the corner but Sheamus ran into a Big Show elbow. Show dumped Jackson but Miz came back in and threw Show over the top with help from Sheamus. Show landed on the apron and as Sheamus and Miz went to knock him off Edge came back in with a spear on Sheamus. Show threw out Miz and Edge threw out Sheamus for the conclusion. Then, backstage Wade Barrett had John Cena raise his hand.

Final Thoughts:

This was a bad show on a number of levels. Most disappointingly, I thought the Orton/Cena/Barrett issue was working very well and this show they went home much more heavily on the Raw vs. Smackdown match which nobody could possibly care about given how often the wrestlers go back and forth.


Anonymous Bob said...

Boring show, caused in part by having to promote the most boring pay-per-view on their schedule, which entailed the obligatory red-shirt vs. blue-shirt battle royal. Hopefully they'll drop Bragging Rights after it tanks this year, get back to 12 shows, and give us a bit of a break between pay-per-view hype.

As Todd noted, the crowd couldn't have cared less about the feud between the brand extensions. As I have noted in the past, stuffing all these different personalities into colored shirts and making them fight for their brand makes them look like complete non-stars. There were even three of four guys thrown out that the announcers couldn't identify and never did bother to identify, making them seem of no importance at all.

I can't believe they had a little montage about how they are great family entertainment, complete with, I kid you not, a full-screen "TV-PG" logo to drive the point home. "Stand Up for WWE"? Most non-cretins can barely admit to watching the show in polite company. I can't imagine what kind of slack-jacked yokels would make videos for them.

Top it off with a guest star that doesn't add anything and the usual anonymous GM nonsense, and you had one pathetic show.

3:41 AM  
Anonymous Bob said...

I forgot to mention the Hornswoggle stuff. Apparently Vince must have thought this was good stuff, because he could have pulled the plug on it at any time and chose to keep it going during the main event of a show that is promoting this week's pay-per-view.

The Cena stuff just made me dislike him more than ever. I think most people watching the show don't have millions in the bank as Cena does, but if their bosses treated them as Nexus treats Cena, they'd have more of a bad-ass response than Cena does. Normally wrestling is actually completely over-the-top in the minor situations that can, in its world, be answered with a fist to the face and a beatdown, but here guys are dumping water on Cena and mocking him and he just takes it like a chump.

There's not even a storyline where after X amount of time Cena will be out of this situation. At least then I could accept he knows he just has to get through it. But, no, here apparently he's owned by Nexus forever, so why would he put up with this? Doesn't he have any self-respect?

I was all for turning Cena heel, but I think the way they're implementing this heel turn is going to cause it to be as successful as the infamous Austin heel turn.

3:56 AM  
Blogger hobbyfan said...

Cena, in the end, isn't turning heel. Vince and Brian Geekwitz have no clue between them how this is going to end, but the right thing to do is this:

If they had a real GM in place, a compromise, given the screwjob finish at Hell in a Cell, would be to put a minimum time limit on Cena being in Nexus, say, 30 days. At the end of the 30 days, Cena is free to beat Barrett up and put an end to Nexus once and for all.

Of course, Vince wants his writers to do what he says, so this storyline reflects his attitude toward the creative team.

Yeah, there was a pop for Daniel Bryan's Lance Storm reference, but I don't like the idea of having him job to Dolph Ziggler on PPV. They're making mistakes with Dolph, too, by keeping him with the heat parasite, Vickie Guerrero. You know Vince is going senile when he can't see the logic of that angle.

I'm surprised Harris & McGillicutty ended up losing. That only forestalls their joining Nexus, by, say, 6 days? Yeah, they'll be involved at the PPV.

5:29 AM  

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